Patience. I purchased this amaryllis in early December and thought it was dead as it was not growing. But I watered it once a week and, although I was ready to give up, my mother said “wait.” Then it started getting “leggy” and a bulb started to grow. It’s a beauty now. Just goes to show everything has its own journey even if it seems slow to us.
There are so many lessons I learn from God in nature.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12 NIV
Have you ever wondered what to do when a new neighbor moves into your neighborhood?
We recently moved to Illinois and our neighborhood has walking trails nearby so we would go walking but the people would not be responsive to our “hellos.” I was getting quite discouraged that we wouldn’t make any friends.
One day while I was napping, my husband heard a knock on the door and I heard him calling “Norma, Norma.” So I got up and went to the front door where he was at. Standing outside was a young couple with a child in their arms.
“We want to welcome you to our neighborhood,” she said. Then she extended her hand and gave us a tin and a bag. We thanked her and stood at the door talking for a few minutes. After they left, I set the tin and bag on the kitchen counter and opened it up.
Homemade chocolate chip cookies, cleaning supplies and a candle ~ what a nice surprise!
They also put their contact information inside in case we had any questions about the neighborhood.
During Halloween, this same couple knocked on our door with her 2 year old and some friends. Later she texted me and apologized for not having time to talk. No worries I assured her. Maybe we could meet up for coffee or something, I told her.
Then, I received a surprise invitation to dinner at their house. We accepted and had a pleasant chicken dinner.
Now it’s Christmas and I had planned on taking over a gift for their little girl along with cookies but … another knock on the door. They had brought us some homemade popcorn for the holidays.
Now, this is a nice way to say “welcome to the neighborhood.”
Have you ever done anything like this before? It seems like nowadays people are so caught up with social media that they don’t have time for one-on-one relationships.
Our new house in Illinois is near a walking trail which is about 1.25 miles long.
The first time I walked this trail I noticed the beautiful white cranes sitting next to the fountain in the middle of the pond.
The second time I walked the trail I again noticed the cranes ~ so elegantly sitting next to the pond. They must like the fountain I thought.
By my third walk, I looked a little closer and noticed that the white cranes weren’t moving. That seemed suspicious to me. I started laughing as I realized that the white cranes were fake. I couldn’t help laughing all the way home.
Come to find out, fake white cranes scare away geese. You know ~ geese who leave their poop all over the place.
As I explore my neighborhood, I see more and more fake white cranes and few, if any, geese. The fake white cranes are working as decoys as geese do not get along with them.
Not til l moved to Illinois did I think this was possible. I wonder why Minnesota, where I’m from, has not figured this out yet. There the geese are protected instead of discouraged.
After living in Minnesota for 9 years, we decided to move back to Illinois to be closer to my 93 year old mother.
My mother has never driven and has always walked or used public transportation to get around. Do you know anyone else who has never driven? There are few people left who fall in that category.
After we put our house on the market, we had an offer in 4 days. That was unreal. Here are eight things we did that I feel helped to sell our house quickly.
Declutter. We went through the house, room by room, and removed any items that we had not used in the last couple of years. We took these items to the second hand store.
Next we went through our clothes closet and got rid of anything that we had not worn in awhile. It’s amazing how many things stay in a closet for years just sitting in the back not “bothering anyone.” Get rid of it! Someone else can enjoy your 10 year old flannel shirt that you haven’t used in awhile.
Clean the flower beds and weed. Anything that is dead should be removed. The yard should have a fresh and inviting look.
Power wash the outside of the house and deck. Those cobwebs that you see in the front of the house that don’t really bother you might signify to someone else that you don’t maintain your house. Yes, I know it’s a little thing but little things not only add up but they make a big statement.
Clean the inside of the house. Again, go room by room and make sure everything is clean. Wipe down kitchen cabinets and appliances. Our house was on a well and it took a lot to get the toilet rings removed, but it was important. (Although, when the photographer comes to take a picture of the house, make sure those toilet lids are down. It just looks better). Clean the inside of the stove and refrigerator (throw out leftovers).
Clean your garage. Anything that you are not going to take with you should be donated. And make sure that if you have a two car garage that two cars actually fit in it. Wipe the garage floor and shelves clean.
Make sure the driveway is swept. Remember, this is your first impression to buyers.
Lastly, minimize what you have in your house. You need your rooms to look bigger so that buyers can visualize their furniture in your house. It’s okay to put things in a corner of the garage if you have the space. Box them up if possible so it will look neater.
There are some homes that have very bold paint colors on their walls. If it’s possible, the walls should be painted a neutral color but quite honestly, we had yellow walls through the main area and the bedrooms were a gray-ish blue and it looked fine because the colors would match anyone’s furniture.
Is there anything else you can think of to help sell a house quicker?
My sister-in-law had requested a queen size quilt about 3 years ago and I finally was able to complete one for her.
Part of the “problem” is that when I first started learning how to sew and quilt, I asked people if I could make quilts for them so I would be able to practice. My sister-in-law was way down on the list of people who requested a quilt as I did them on a first-come first-serve basis.
Somewhere in my early teen years I came across a book called The Boxcar Children.
This book, written by a first grade school teacher by the name of Gertrude Chandler Warner, was aimed at children in grades 2-6 yet I can’t remember reading it as a younger child.
I must have stumbled across it at the local library near my home.
We never had books in our house growing up. My mother, who didn’t make it too far in grade school, never read us story books.
I fell in love with the book and the story it told of 4 orphaned children who fled what they thought was a cruel grandfather although they had never met him. They found and made a home in an abandoned boxcar and thought they were being self sufficient when it was a doctor who the oldest boy was working for who was helping to supply odds and ends for them in addition to what the older boy was able to get on his own.
The grandfather had put an ad in the paper looking for his grandchildren but the doctor remained silent until one of the young girls got sick. The doctor then notifies the grandfather of the situation and when they meet this kind man they move in with him and he, being wealthy, moves the boxcar to his backyard for them.
There are so many ways I enjoyed this book. Although not a negative word is said about the children’s decision to run away from their circumstances, I sense the stubbornness in them ~ one that I also was familiar with growing up. Yet, the way the book tells the story, it was more about the children learning and being given opportunity to work things out for themselves.
I read the series of these books to my boys while they were growing up.
Sometimes, as an “older” adult in need of sanity in this world, I’ll go back and get the 1st book and re-read it a few times.